This post comes from Talkspace, an online and mobile therapy company.
Sometimes, no matter how hard or what we try, we find ourselves repeating behaviors that aren’t healthy for us. If you feel troubled or challenged in a way that seems beyond your control, you might want to consider seeking professional mental health help, particularly if any of these signs are familiar to you:
Nothing is making you happy
You don’t think of yourself as an unhappy person — and you remember many happy times — but no matter what you do, recently nothing brings you pleasure or joy. Even activities or relationships that were once fulfilling don’t have that effect anymore and have given way to a sense of numbness.
If so, there is a strong chance you are suffering from depression. You might want to consider working with a therapist — whether through online therapy or traditional brick-and-mortar therapy — to discover the causes, develop strategies for managing the illness, and find your way to happiness again.
You can’t stop abusing a substance
You’ve tried to keep it under control by yourself. Friends, family members, and co-workers are noticing. There have been too many blackouts and breakdowns to hide the problem. People are worried about you, and they’re saying you need to get help.
Therapy or a substance abuse program can help you address your problem and beat it.
You feel sick, but doctors say you’re fine
Despite your best efforts to stay healthy and rested, you always feel tired. There are aches and pains no one can explain. Your body isn’t functioning as well as it used to.
The mind and body are connected in ways you might not be aware of. If doctors can’t explain what you’re going through, your body might be reacting to the stress or toll of mental health issues you haven’t dealt with yet.
You can’t focus or sleep well
You try to focus at work and keep calm before sleep, but it’s an uphill battle. Your thoughts keep racing and you dwell on everything that could go wrong.
Anxiety and other similar disorders can make it seem impossible to sleep or concentrate long enough to be productive. Give yourself permission to seek out help with these issues; there are great options for dealing with anxiety.
Mental health conditions you might be dealing with
If these general signs seem familiar to you, they might be pointing to a specific mental health condition. Here is a list of common conditions and some basic information about what it’s like to live with them:
General Anxiety Disorder [GAD]
Some of the most common symptoms associated with this disorder:
- Excessive rumination or worry
- Difficulty stopping undesired thoughts
- A desire to avoid certain situations, people, or things
- Chest pain or other discomfort
- Stomach pain or intestinal distress
- Feeling dizzy and/or fainting
- Trembling or shaking
- Shortness of breath
Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression
Some of the most common symptoms associated with major depressive disorder or clinical depression:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or feeling “low”
- Feeling “numb”
- Lack of energy and motivation or feeling fatigued
- Changes in daily activity level
- Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
- Greater difficulty in completing daily self-care tasks such as eating, showering, cleaning, and organizing personal spaces
- Difficulty sleeping or changes in sleep (sleeping much more or less than usual)
- Significant and/or sudden changes in weight (loss or gain)
Some risk factors include:
- The availability of drugs
- Family use or history of addiction (and biological predisposition)
- Lack of a support network (or for young people, parental supervision)
Long-term consequences can include:
- Memory issues or deficits
- Declining mental function or difficulty concentrating or processing information
- Negatively impacted decision-making or problem solving skills
- Learning difficulties
Coming to terms with your mental health
Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It takes strength and courage to admit you have a problem and embark on the challenging path toward becoming a better version of yourself. Take pride in knowing you’re choosing to improve rather than settling for a troubling status quo, spiraling downward, or giving up. Taking the first step can be difficult, but take comfort in knowing many others have struggled, recovered, and gone on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives.
Finding the right kind of help
There are thousands of resources that help people with every imaginable type of struggle and for a range of budgets. To find a starting point that may be right for you, check out the suggestions below:
General mental health resources
Resources for addiction
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
- Addiction Resource Center
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- 11 Lessons for Success in Addiction Recovery
Resources for anxiety
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- American Psychological Association
- How to Get Rid of Anxiety
- Anxiety and Panic Resources from Psych Central
Financial assistance for anxiety
Resources for depression
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America
- Depression Resources Suggested by Everyday Health
- Dealing with Depression: What You Need to Know
- National Institute of Mental Health
Financial assistance for depression
Resources for domestic violence
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network